People who are in charge of maintaining the operations for runoff insurance know that there are significant issues with the legacy data management systems they work with. However, a numbness develops over time that comes from three different fallacies; if you start fixing something you will never stop, the duct tape and bailing wire approach to system patching and workarounds is "good enough", fixing the issues will cost more than not fixing them (see- The Hidden Costs of Legacy Systems).
- Keep it Simple- Avoid ultra customized code or integrations whenever possible.
- Less is More- When attempting to improve your legacy system less is almost always more. Avoid large committees and select 3-5 person work teams where there can be clearly delineated lines of responsibility. Remember if EVERYONE is responsible then NO ONE is responsible.
- Look for Small Wins- The adage is "How do you eat and elephant? One bite at a time." If you are looking to clean 40 years worth of data the task can be soul crushing. It is critical to set up early and manageable goals so that you can gain momentum. Once the momentum builds the team will be ready to take on the tougher challenges, and before you know it you ate the elephant.
- Encourage Cross Pollination- in many organizations IT and the business side are siloed off. This is a critical mistake, if IT is building for the business side without the proper depth of understanding the system will simply not live up to the hopes of the organization. If you can pair IT and business folks together that are in different career stages, you will find that you can achieve the best of both worlds, helping to drive internal innovation, while gaining some of the benefits of mentorship on the side.
- Choose p1- When you choose p1 you can retire all of your legacy systems in favor of a single, robust, modern insurance data management platform. Integration is much less painful than getting older systems to do things they were not initially designed to do.